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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for November 2010

The monthly recording by Garden Bloggers of what's in bloom in our yards was started by May Dreams Carol in February 2007. It became an instant tradition, letting us share our garden flowers while acting as a useful tool to keep track of how the plants we grow act in different years.

Many dependable plants will make a fourth appearance in this November GBBD post. But there are downsides to keeping records... a glance back shows what is not here - cold January 2010 weather killed the Duranta, defeated the Confederate Rose and disappeared every bit of the yellow bulbine, a plant that had grown so exuberantly in 2009 it was thinned and divisions were given away.

With records to tell me what to expect, should I now feel cheated because the usual November bloomers didn't flower? Woe, woe, for the spindly Passion vine, the struggling Brugmansia and what remains of the Toad lily! The roses are 'resting' and the Sweet Olives are off schedule. There is not one Meyer's lemon for Thanksgiving cranberry relish? No fair!

Annieinaustin, Meyer lemons for relish

Enough of the whining - one advantage of being a plantaholic is that no matter how many plants bail on bloom day - something will have flowers:

It's ironic to see the Camellia 'Shishi Gashira', beautifully budded and with glossy foliage after a year that knocked off plants more suited to Central Texas.

Annieinaustin, Camellia Shishi Gashira
The Loquat tree is also well-budded, now opening the first flowers - so even without the Sweet Olive's fragrance, November smells sweet.Annieinaustin, loquat buds
Just a breeze across the leaves can make the Pineapple sage release scent, too. One plant grows in the Hummingbird bed.. this one is near the Blue Butterfly Clerodendron on the patio. Pineapple sage seldom lives through winter but it's usually easy to find starts in spring. Replacements for blue Clerodendron are hard to find and expensive. After helping me find this large potted Blue Butterfly, Robin told me that cuttings root easily. I've taken her advice and have rooted a few pieces to grow indoors as insurance that blue butterflies will float over my garden next year. Annieinaustin, Pineapple sage and Blue Butterfly Clerodendron

Salvia regla would prefer life on a rocky hillside in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend, but it survived the 12" deluge from Hermine in September and has been popping orange flowers for weeks. Most sites call it a shrub, but it freezes back so hard in my garden that it never attains much size.
Annieinaustin, Salvia regla, mountain sage

More orange and yellow come from Tropical Milkweed/Asclepias curassavica and Mexican Mint Marigold. The milkweed doesn't always survive winter but usually reseeds somewhere nearby. The Mexican Mint marigold/Tagetes lucida, has been perennial in my garden since 2004.

Annieinaustin, Mexican Mint Marigold & Tropical Milkweed
A paler yellow color comes from the Salvia madrensis/Forsythia sage, seen here leaning onto the Mexican Honeysuckle/Justicia spicigeraAnnieinaustin, Salvia madrensis

I've grown Moon Flower vine/Ipomoea alba for decades but don't remember buds and flowers in mid-November - they look defiant against yesterday's grey afternoon sky
Annieinaustin, Moonflower vine bud in November

Because two plants of Ageratina havanensis survive & bloom in the front yard, a third plant of the native fragrant mistflower went into the yaupon bed this spring, mingling with Salvia vanhouttei. The salvia is pretty tender but the mistflower should return.Annieinaustin, Ageratina havanensis
The pink gaura looked horrible in late summer... a severe pruning and cooler weather produced intensely colored flowersAnnieinAustin, Rose pink gaura
The pot of 'Provence' lavender started blooming in May and hasn't given up. Neither has the Evolvolus 'Blue Daze'. These plants don't do well when planted in my clay soil but they can do well in containersAnnieinaustin, lavender and Blue daze evolvolus

If we can avoid a freeze for a few more weeks, these tiny peppers might make it to the kitchen. Annieinaustin, peppers in November
All the above blooms have made previous November appearances - but this is the first November for some new plants.

'Marilyn's Choice' Abutilon was a 1-ft tall rooted cutting when I planted in the new yaupon bed last spring. It made a few flowers, then turned to branching and growing into a gawky shrub. This abutilon looked like a big weed all summer, not reblooming until now. The flowers are not thrilling me but watching them develop is interesting. Annieinaustin, Marilyn's Choice abutilonI planted another plant in the mallow family, Pam's Pink Turkscap/Malvaviscus 'Pam Puryear' in the same bed. It also grew into a large, gawky, branched plant that looked like a weed as summer waned. It had a few pink flowers at the beginning of November but they're gone for GBBD.

After planting the 'Marilyn's Choice', I hedged my bets by moving the other small abutilon into a container so at least one of them could be taken in or covered in cold weather. The second abutilon was just called 'Patrick's', but Linda of the Central Texas Gardener TV show let me know it's named after Central Texas garden designer Patrick Kirwin. This plant never branched but steadily produced one lovely flower at a time on an ever-taller stalk. Annieinaustin, Patrick Kirwin abutilon

The Shrimp plant/Justicia brandegeana was planted in late spring. It opened a few flowers, then looked stressed. Apparently what it wanted was relocation! Instead of trusting the gardener to catch on the Shrimp plant grew an elongated stalk, leaned that stalk onto the ground, rooted it at the end and sent up a healthier plant 2-feet away from the spot I'd chosen. The flowers do look like seafood, don't they?Annieinaustin, Shrimp plant
Lion's Tail is another new plant that resented being planted this year, not growing at all for months. After Hermine is perked up, grew steadily and now has buds. But we're getting close to average frost date and it's only borderline hardy in my part of Austin - any bets on whether these buds will open before the plant freezes?

A final November bow by a newcomer is made by the miniature climbing rose 'Red Cascade' rose, described as a miniature climbing rose. It wasn't planted until midsummer and I don't know how it will do longterm, but how good it is to see in bloom on this November day. Annieinaustin, Red Cascade climbing miniature rose

For a bloom-tour around the world go to Carol's November GBBD Roundup.

For my list of everything that has a flower, with my best tries at botanical names, go to Annie's Addendum


  1. I know... it's about the flowers today. But I have to say that the foliage on that camellia is absolutely stunningly perfect. Dark green, glossy... perfect. (And yes, the blooms are pretty, too!)

  2. I have always loved minature roses. I didn't even know there was a climber. I must look into that. I always forget how much warmer your area is than ours. You have so many blooms today even if you don't have lemons. Happy GBBD.

  3. I love the markings on the Patrick's abutilon! I hope the peppers make it..maybe for Thanksgiving dinner? My gaura also got pruned in late summer due to scraggly growth. It seems much happier now too...I think I forgot to list it on my post :)

  4. It is true than when we have records, we have memory, and sometimes we miss what we no longer have when we are reminded that we once had it. But with all the blooms in your Texas garden, it would be hard to be sad for too long over what isn't there... except maybe those Meyer lemons. Dang.

  5. I love your first photo! I mean, I feel bad you have no Meyer's lemon...

    Camellia? Wow--beautiful and so exotic to me for Austin. Don't you just love the Red Cascade rose? They're so tough yet such a pretty deep red.

  6. I've been struggling with the same problem for several years now (even before GBBD); keeping records reminds me of how much I've had and lost.

    I've been replacing and replacing and almost everything blooming today is new, much of it passed along by gardening friends like you (the Mexican mint marigold).

    While it's enlightening to compare the present with the past, we gardeners just keep looking to the future.

    BTW, my white mistflower might have started blooming earlier than yours but it was all finished by last week. Yours still looks wonderful.

  7. That Forsythia sage is lovely, and totally new to me. And your gaura is gorgeous; just put one in my yard a few weeks ago, but I don't think I'll get any blooms for a while. Patrick's a stunner!

  8. Oh, my, your garden is gorgeous. I've been waiting for my loquat to show some signs of budding, but so far, nada. It's a young tree though so I may have to wait another year.

  9. You have so much in bloom - how beautiful! I should have taken a picture of the one bloom I still had on my abutilon. The close-up of yours is gorgeous.

  10. Lovely pics. I really like your gaura and Patrick's abutilon.

  11. The color on that pink gaura is really nice. So eye-catching.

  12. It's always a treat to come here this time of year and see so many lovely blooms, Annie. The pineapple sage is a favorite of mine in the fall, but sadly mine just started to bloom when the first frost hit, and that was it. I thought it might be a perennial in your zone, but it's not?

    I'm so glad, too, that Carol started this meme; it's a great way to record what's blooming when from year to year.

  13. You still have so much lovely stuff blooming. I am surprised that my ageratum, periwinkle and inpatients have survived...but any day now...

  14. This has been an interesting year. Plants froze but camellia made it (!), plants delayed to flower or just too tired out to do so. But you have a lovely collection anyway! On the Patrick's and all abutilons, in spring, trim them back to regain their shape. I did some pruning as well, about the time you trimmed your gaura, and it makes a huge difference.

  15. It has been a strange year hasn't it? My Mountain Sage [salvia regia] is blooming again like yours is. I didn't think the Forsythia Sage would bloom but it finally did. I really like the square stalk it has. All the sages are blooming again. I think I could have a whole garden of nothing but sages and be happy.

    My little Red Cascade rose hasn't bloomed again, though it is really starting to climb.

    My shrimp plants are just now covered in blooms, finally. I didn't think they were going to at all.

    It's really been a strange year. It makes me wonder about next spring and what is in store for us.

  16. Hi Blackswamp KimThank you. The Camellia sasanqua looks great, but the Camellia japonica 'Pius X' will not be appearing this year..ratty leaves & not one bud!

    Lisa at Greenbow, I've had miniatures but never a climber before...saw it for $3 and had to buy it! 'Red Cascade' is supposed to be hardy in Zone 5A so you need one!

    The Patrick's almost looks zoological rather than botanical, doesn't it, Leslie? Chance of frost tomorrow ... might be end of peppers!

    Hi May Dreams Carol -a lack of lemons does bother me, but I'm trying to not care so much about the rest. The problem is that what survives is seldom as beautiful as what dies. It's turning into a Least Common Denominator Garden.

    That photo was from 2006, Iris - maybe next year?
    I'm not working very hard at keeping this camellia going and do enjoy it.
    I wonder who else has this rose?

    Looking at the spreadsheet is showing me that starter plants chosen out of desire did pretty well this year, MSS at Zanthan Gardens - some of the most expensive purchases did the least. Isn't that funny?

    Better break this up... blogger doesn't like long comments!


  17. Such lovelies in your garden! I can't even pick a favorite from your photos :)

  18. Hello Amy in Austin - the Forsythia sage appeared on a few blogs 3 summers ago and we all wanted it! Hope your gaura does well..

    Thank you for stopping by, Birdwoman - hope your loquat gets its act together next year and blooms for you.

    Hello Elaine from CA - this is my 12th November in Austin and I got off the plane as a seasoned plant collector ;-]

    Thanks for stopping Mac from Australia - sure hope Patrick's will make it through winter.

    Wish I knew the variety on that rose-pink gaura, RBell. I bought it a few years ago at the local HEB grocery store, but there was no ID.

    I used to take a chance on Pineapple Sage in IL too, Prairie Rose - kind of like a lottery ticket for bloom, but always a winner in the scent department! It's lived through winter maybe 3 years out of 10 here - might be more perennial for someone with very well-drained soil in winter.

    I never even got around to planting impatiens in the hanging baskets this year, Tabor - they really do let you know when frost has hit!

    Interesting is a much better word than Aggravating, Linda from Central Texas Gardening!
    I'm glad to know the abutilons can be pruned back - wasn't sure what to do with them so thanks!

    Blooming again? Mountain Sage should bloom twice, Bob? My Salvia regla has bloomed once a year in late fall for 3 years - I thought that was normal. Did you check the list at Annie's Addendum? I have 12 kinds of salvia in bloom right now!
    Aha, you have a Red Cascade miniature climber, too! Bet they are all over Central Texas ;-]

    Thank you, Tina Poe - not sure which is my favorite, but probably the loquat.

    Thanks everyone for the comments,


  19. Annie, I'd whine too about having no fruit on the Meyer Lemon (if only I had one!).
    The Camelia is so healthy and beautiful!
    I want to try that Pineapple Sage.
    My Guara bloomed much better during the cooler weather too, until frost stopped it last week. It's the same color as yours. I don't think it'll survive our winter, but one can hope.
    My pink Abutilon is a spindly potted plant but it produced beautiful flowers all summer and even more in the cool fall weather and after I brought it inside. Right now though it looks awful. I pruned it last year and it's been spindly ever since, not filling out and producing new branches at all.
    The orange flowered "Gold Dust" flowered well too but it grew into a large, untidy shrub. I've just cut it back into a nice shape and am hoping it will do better than the pink one did after pruning.
    I love 'Patrick's' flower. What a beauty!


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